V. The Ego-Body Illusion, P 2
2 A major source of the ego’s off-balanced state is its lack of discrimination between the body and the Thoughts of God. Thoughts of God are unacceptable to the ego, because they clearly point to the non-existence of the ego itself. The ego therefore either distorts them or refuses to accept them. It cannot, however, make them cease to be. It therefore tries to conceal not only “unacceptable” body impulses, but also the Thoughts of God, because both are threatening to it. Being concerned primarily with its own preservation in the face of threat, the ego perceives them as the same. By perceiving them as the same, the ego attempts to save itself from being swept away, as it would surely be in the presence of knowledge.
I am a Thought of God, as are you. But up until now I didn’t think of myself like that. I thought of myself in terms of my personality and my body. I defined myself by my job, the roles I played, and how others saw me. I still do that sometimes but mostly I notice these tendencies and ignore them. Or when I see that I want them to be true, I put that desire on the Altar and the Holy Spirit and I look together at it before His Light shines the darkness away.
There is the Thought of God, pure and unadulterated, glorious and perfect. And then there is the ego, and it is the ego thought that blinds me to my true Self. As I bring those false thoughts to the Altar, I undo the ego and my brilliance shines bright and clear as ever.
The ego mind resists this with every trick it has. It says that I am the body and to lose the body is to lose myself. The ego is so certain of that belief that I have believed it too. But the ego is not trying to preserve me, but only trying to preserve itself. To know who I am is to see the ego cease to exist in my mind and if it does not exist in my mind, it does not exist at all.
To further convince me that I am this body, it convinced me that God has a similar body and with God embodied it was a simple matter to see Him with all the personality traits I accepted as part of me. He became angry and vengeful. He had favorites and I had to behave so as to catch his attention in a positive way. He gave favors to some and to some He did not. I learned to beg and to bargain for what I thought I needed.
The ego mind is very clever. First it convinced me that I am this pathetic, unstable personality in this vulnerable and fragile body, forever at the mercy of the world. When I argued that I had to be like my creator it readily agreed. It gave me a god that was just like me, a body with an unstable personality, a personality that was in constant need of adoration, obedience praise and victims.
Now that I am choosing to remember the truth, the ego fights for its life. When I feel like the beloved of a God of perfect Love, the ego reminds me of my many faults and all my awful sins. This is the way it tries to convince me that I do not deserve forgiveness. It argues that my daily thoughts and actions prove I am neither loving nor lovable.
It projects its vengeful thoughts onto the body as sickness and pain to prove I deserve punishment and that God is untrustworthy. Do you see how it tries to confuse the Thoughts of God with the ego thoughts and keep us so off balance that we can’t discriminate between reality and illusion? We are so bewildered by the conflicting thoughts in our mind that we are no longer completely sane.
Jesus makes it simple for us. He says there are only two Voices. There is the ego voice and the Voice for God and only the Voice for God is real. When I ask how to know which one I am hearing, I am told that if it is not completely loving and joyful, gentle and kind, it is not God’s Voice. There is only love (God) and fear (ego). Easy to tell them apart.
I am told that I don’t have to do anything to fix this problem other than to want healing more than I want the problem. The actual healing is done by the Holy Spirit and so is not my concern. I am asked to be vigilant for my thoughts and to place the ones that are unlike Love on the Altar and allow them to be healed. As these thoughts are purified, the truth is revealed. I am told to disregard appearances, that what the body’s eyes show me is a lie. It is simple, and when it feels hard it is only because I resist the truth, but even that resistance is forgiven as I place it on the Altar.